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A Campus In Style: Success for Skulls stems from skate culture

By Jamil Larkins
On November 29, 2012

Everyone has his or her own definition of the American Dream. Usually, this dream consists of family status, economic wealth and some sort of career aspirations. Look through your high school yearbook and see how many graduating seniors had listed goals like the generic "to be successful." Defining your own personal success can take on a different look every day. Skulls is a brand rooted in making quality, fun, and unique pieces, most notably whimsical and well-crafted five-panel hats. For Ivan Jimenez, the creator of the brand, success and "making it" in America came in the form of a motivated, unique, and one of my personal favorite fashion and lifestyle companies.
I had the pleasure of speaking with Jimenez directly to get some details and facts about the foundation of Skulls. The vision of this company is rooted in the skateboarding culture of the 1990s. In 1991, Jimenez began shooting skateboarding pictures of himself and his friends after watching the movie "Gleaming the Cube." After the initial success and publishing of some of these photos in his native country of Spain, his stake in the scene became much more interactive and hands-on. In 2000, Jimenez moved from Barcelona to California, transforming his former hobby of skating and photography into a job. His first major step into the fashion world came in 2004, when he was hired by Nike SB in Spain and Portugal to be a part of the original European team. In 2007, his ideas turned into reality, when he launched a brand of tees called Worldwide that sold in many major U.S. accounts.
Many start-up brands focus on T-shirts as their foundation, but Skulls took a different approach. While traveling the world from around 2004 to 2011, Jimenez always looked for five-panel hats as personal souvenirs. New Era hats and snapbacks just didn't fit correctly, so five panels were the natural choice to produce. Skulls was started around 2011 fueled by Ivan's vision to create products that he would wear, what he wanted to see on shelves and to create crazy prints from his ideas.
Among the previous prints that the Skulls brand has featured on hats include peppers, puppies, lighthouses, orange and pink camouflage, turtles and many more that are featured online at the Skulls blog and webstore. Jimenez has said that there is no real process in picking fabrics and designs for the hats. It's an organic process, which Jimenez said that is completely related to his personal connection to the materials and prints. He has used fabric from vintage stores in Ohio, to fabric that he found traveling in Peru.
The state of fashion in both Europe and the United States changes daily. This difference between the two areas has allowed creative freedom for Ivan and the Skulls brand. He has said that the United States allows more acceptance to change and innovation. France and Paris especially are rooted in old-fashioned values and are wrongly classified as the focus of the fashion scene in Europe. Fashion and styles in Europe are static, with little to no development over time. Jimenez has said that the main reason he is here in American is because anyone can be as bold as they want, and there will always be someone to tell you that they love what you do.
 


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